Funding roundup

Students from the Upward Bound Math and Science program at Mount Wachusett Community College stand atop Mount Watatic following a climb during the summer portion of the program. (Photo: MWCC)

Massachusetts’ Mount Wachusett Community College has received a $1.4 million grant to prepare high school students for college programs that lead to careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The Upward Bound Math and Science Program grant comes from the U.S. Department of Education.

Sixty area high school students — two-thirds of whom are from low-income and first-generation college families — will benefit from the grant. The students will participate in college tours, monthly STEM-based cultural/academic enrichment opportunities, hands-on laboratory activities, STEM-based field trip, lectures and other activities.

“Upward Bound Math and Science programs can change the course of a student’s life. By supporting low-income and potential first-generation high school students work towards earning a college degree, these young people become uniquely qualified for well-paying careers in science and math fields,” Sen. Edward J. Markey said in a release.

Alabama

Gov. Kay Ivey addresses the crowd at the groundbreaking for Wallace State’s new facility. (Photo: Wallace State)

Wallace State Community College was awarded a $2.3-million grant at a recent groundbreaking for a new 20,000-foot Wallace State-Oneonta facility. The grant was presented by Governor Kay Ivey.

The new facility will help Wallace State keep pace with faster-than-expected growth and increasing demand for services. A new welding program in Oneonta is anticipating the need to expand due to demand. An Apple App Development program, the result of a partnership between Apple and the Alabama Community College System, will begin next year. And, through a state partnership with the Manufacturing Skills Standards Council, Wallace State will begin offering certified production technician, certified logistics associate and certified logistics technician training in January.

“By 2020, 62 percent of all the jobs in Alabama will require a postsecondary degree or certificate. Today, only 37 percent of our workforce have such a credential,” Gov. Ivey said at the groundbreaking ceremony. “Today, we celebrate a commitment to educate future generations…and I am especially proud to begin this project in rural Alabama.”

The current facility in Oneonta has served more than 640 students to date. It was expected to be a temporary facility, but likely will be used for career training for health and applied technologies programs.

California

More than 540 Santa Rose Junior College (SRJC) students, faculty and staff are known to have lost their homes in the devastating North Bay wildfires. To support their needs, Exchange Bank has made a donation of $50,000 to the SRJC Fire Relief Fund.

The SRJC Foundation established the fund with $100,000, which has been met with an additional $150,000 in donations from the community. To date, the college has already distributed funds to help nearly 400 individuals.

“The funds will help students replace supplies, books and other essentials so that they can stay in school, and will help our employees get back on their feet so that they can continue to teach and support those students,” SRJC President Frank Chong said. “Our community is resilient, and I am confident we’ll get through this together and come out an even stronger institution.”

New Jersey

Brookdale Community College will enhance curriculum and expand student services using a $1.7 million grant from the Education Department. The grant will fund improvements to online and hybrid courses and allow the college to implement new, compressed academic schedules in the coming years. It also funds a new technology-based student relations system, which will allow college staff to monitor student progress from enrollment to graduation.

Pennsylvania

HACC, Central Pennsylvania’s Community College, worked with WellSpan Health System to develop a physician office assistant program. Now, WellSpan has created a new scholarship fund to help these students. This new fund will award 10 scholarships of $1,500 each during the 2017-18 academic year to students who demonstrate financial need.

HACC also received $13,000 in funding from TE Connectivity Corporation to purchase a 3D printer, a curing oven, a custom-machined tool holder, high-temperature resins and other supplies. With the new technology, engineering transfer and mechanical engineering technology students can create their own designs, print and cure molds based on these designs and use the molds to create injection-molded parts.

Wisconsin

Madison Area Technical College will use a $3 million Education Department grant to improve advising services and increase college degree completion or transfer. The college is among 17 institutions receiving the Title III grants.

The five-year Pathways to Success grant will allow the college to implement strategies to address advising needs of all students, particularly those who lack basic skills. The college plans to use a variety of methods to do this, including online tools, connected data systems and increased training for faculty advisors. Successful approaches will be shared with other higher education institutions.

About the Author

Tabitha Whissemore
is a contributor to Community College Daily and managing editor of AACC's Community College Journal.